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No action against nurses, but union reprimanded

Nurses striking on Monday

The five nurses who refused to carry out their duties at the Athalassa psychiatric hospital over a Covid case last year committed a disciplinary offence, but no action will be taken, Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou said on Wednesday.

The minister said he received the findings of a probe into the refusal of the five nurses at the Athalassa psychiatric hospital to treat a patient with Covid-19 last November on the grounds health protocols were not being enforced.

According to Ioannou, the investigating official “ruled that the nursing staff had committed a disciplinary offence, that is, refusal to perform a duty”. However, he added, after considering all the facts of the case, the official in question decided not to impose any penalty.

The special circumstances the nurses faced in performing their duties, and the fact that they had not caused any problems in the past were taken into consideration, the minister said. Another factor was that their refusal to not carry out their duties was taken on the instructions of their union, Pasyno.

The minister took a swipe at the union. He said that according to the trade unions commissioner, it seems Pasyno did not follow the procedures provided by both the statute of the trade union in question and the law on trade unions.

“Based on the above, it appears that Pasyno did not exhaust the scope of consultation, has put its members on the spot, and, with the recent mobilisation, it caused unnecessary inconvenience to the people,” Ioannou said.

He said this was the end of the matter for him.

“I do not intend to take any further action,” Ioannou said.

Pasyno members went on a 12-hour work stoppage on Monday in protest over the disciplinary probe into their colleagues’ conduct.

The work stoppage affected the operation of some vaccination centres with many people having to reschedule their appointments.



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